The aging of the workforce in the United States presents special challenges for employers. This AARP Florida survey of 108 employers across the state examines whether or not employers have addressed the issue of an aging workforce and identifies some of the key areas where they anticipate shortages in their workforces. The survey also explores the steps that Florida employers have taken to mitigate the loss of knowledge that may occur when older workers retire.
A similar survey of 235 employers was conducted in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Results from the surveys include:
- Most employers in Florida predict a potential shortage of qualified workers. Over 7 in 10 employers statewide (74%), and nearly the same percentage in Manatee and Sarasota counties (67%), believe that it is at least somewhat likely that their company or organization will face a shortage of qualified workers in the next 5 years.
- Retention of institutional knowledge and skills is important. Over 8 in 10 employers statewide (83%) and over three-fourths in Manatee and Sarasota counties (78%) acknowledge there is a knowledge loss that occurs when an employee retires or leaves a company or organization.
- Employers in Florida offer work options and accommodations for older employees. Over half of responding employers (56%) provide training to older workers to upgrade their skills and knowledge, and over 4 in 10 (42%) provide older workers with part-time work without benefits. Results were similar in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
- While the majority of employers statewide offer employees a defined contribution pension plan, under half of employers in Manatee and Sarasota counties did so. More than 6 in 10 employers statewide (64%) offer a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b). However, just under half (46%) of employers in the two counties offered defined contribution plans to their employees.
This online survey of Florida employers was fielded in June-August of 2007. Email addresses of employers were compiled, and respondents received an email with a link to the survey and two follow-up emails urging them to take the survey. Approximately 2,000 emails were sent to employers across Florida, and 108 employers responded. AARP self selected this sample for participation, so no estimates of sampling error can be calculated, nor can these results be generalized to all employers in Florida. For the Manatee and Sarasota county survey, a similar number of emails were sent, resulting in 235 responding employers. For more information contact the report's author, Terri Guengerich, at 202-434-6306.